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You are here News International An Earthquake Took a Heavy Toll on Children. Shoddy Construction Could Be to Blame.

An Earthquake Took a Heavy Toll on Children. Shoddy Construction Could Be to Blame.

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Indonesia earthquake

Like most other children across Indonesia, Dewi Hani, 4, typically spent her afternoons studying at an Islamic school. She had been learning to write the Arabic alphabet in a notebook that she kept inside her blue backpack, along with a pencil and a Quran.

This Monday afternoon was no different — until the moment when a 5.6 magnitude earthquake flattened structures in the area. Hani was one of five students killed when her two-story Islamic school collapsed in a village a few dozen miles from Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta.

Hani’s mother, Neng Didah, 34, rushed to the school and saw its second floor sitting on the ground. The first floor — where her daughter studied — had disappeared.

“I suddenly felt weak,” Ms. Neng said on Thursday in the village, Sarampad. “I heard voices calling ‘Mama, mama, mama,’ but I didn’t recognize any of them.”

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